I met with some writing friends recently and we were talking about the crazy life of an author.
The struggle to get a story just
The reality of writing, revising, rewriting and then being told it’s wrong or an editor wants you to do it differently.
The conflicting opinions on certain “rules” (no head-hopping for instance, something that is more acceptable in secular fiction).
The length of time it takes to get any response from an editor or publishing house.
Being accepted and then still finding your work isn’t “good enough” for that particular person.
One gal said, “I’ve quit three times this past week.”
I hit a spot last week too where I was beset by self-doubts.
Most authors struggle with these thoughts at some point.
If you don’t write, I hope you can understand this. Writers spend hours, days, weeks, months YEARS crafting the book that is held in your hands. Every step along the way feels like a benchmark but is laden with pitfalls.
You get an agent–but they want you to make changes before they try to sell your work.
You get a book contract–and the editor of the publishing house asks you to make changes to the writings of your heart and dreams.
You finally get published and people condemn it.
That’s an awful lot of criticism for an author to have to deal with. Then, it starts all over again with the next book.
So why did I sign up for this masochistic career?
Because God called me to and His purposes in my writing are bigger than my dream of being published. How often I lose sight of that when life is overwhelming and I just want to cry, curl up in a ball with my puppy and lick my wounds. Well, he’d be licking his butt – probably a good illustration for how distasteful this torture is.
And most of us don’t get paid until after the book is published and people take their shots at us.
So I expect I’ll be serving my resignation many times in the future. God never seems to take it very seriously though and I’m glad he undersands the wounds and struggles in the process.
It is a process–and not always pleasant, but I am learning more about myself as well as how to write better. The reality is that will be a lifelong process. There is no “arrival” in this career. At least not until we get to heaven and see our names published in the Lamb’s book of life. Now that’s worth struggling for.